Uncertainties are part of the game
ROCKHAMPTON hockey star Mark Knowles knows there are no certainties in international sport even though his Kookaburras team recently won the Men’s Champions Trophy.
The Kookaburras went through the series with an impressive record of losing just the one match and then taking the trophy by beating Germany 5-3 in the final after a pulsating second half comeback having gone into the break behind by 3-1.
Coach Ric Charlesworth could have been satisfied with that result in the lead up to next year’s World Cup in India but instead put the players on notice that they need to improve.
“He thinks the group has 20-30% improvement,” Knowles said.
“If we can improve and cut out some of the little errors he thinks we will be hard to beat.
“We can improve because if we play at that level (Champions Trophy) we won’t win the World Cup.
“It is all about performing at the right time.”
Knowles was one of three captains used by the Kookaburras
during the Champions Trophy tournament although he plays down that part of his role with the squad.
“It is just a part of the rotation process,” he said.
There is little let up for a professional athlete as Knowles is currently in Tasmania with Rockhampton team mate, and soon to be brother-in-law Jamie Dwyer, carrying out coaching clinics around the “Apple Isle”.
Talking to The Morning Bulletin yesterday he said their coaching duties will end at Hobart on Saturday and then the pair return to Rockhampton on Monday for a Christmas break with family and friends.
It is a relaxation spell the pair will need as from that point onwards there will be very little time to rest.
Early in the new year the Kookaburras will be back in camp for the final preparations to their World Cup.
That tournament will be in India from February 28 with Australia, hopefully, involved until the last day of the event, March 13, when the grand final is held.
That gives Knowles a week to return to Rockhampton and assist with the final preparations for his wedding to Kelly Dwyer on March 20 before it’s time to set off for
Europe once again, just eight days later, and his club commitments.
Not that Knowles is complaining, it is all a part of the job and he’s aware the pace will not slacken as the Kookaburras then build up towards the London Olympics in 2012.
The big defender is enjoying his hockey with the national team feeling he had a satisfactory Champions Trophy campaign, and is also happy with the slightly different role he has been handed by Charlesworth.
“Yeah, I was pretty happy with my game and Ric has us playing a more flowing style,” he said.
“He has me playing a little higher up the park.
“I still have to defend.”
Fitness is also no longer an issue.
After having a run of injuries, Knowles is currently in great condition and looking forward to the further challenges that will face him and his Kookaburra team mates.
If we can improve and cut out some of the little errors he thinks we will be hard to beat.